About us

Our Story

Hi everyone! My name's Chris and I'm the founder of Kyoto Guided Walks. My relationship with this incredible country began back in the early 1990's where as a high school student in New Zealand, I first started to learn about Japan's intricate culture and its language. I was mesmerised by everything - the history, the people, the cuisine and those weird and wonderful peculiarities that make the country so unique. My interest continued after university and in 2002, I moved to Sapporo in the country's north. As a nature lover, I enjoyed walking and hiking through Hokkaido's spectacular wilderness at every opportunity but even better, I also met my beautiful wife Kako! Our journey would continue to Australia where I was fortunate to find work as a Japanese tour guide in the tropical north before moving into a number of senior travel roles which all retained strong links to Japan. During our many trips back to Japan over this period, we started to explore Kyoto in much more detail, fascinated by its ancient traditions and architecture, sophisticated cuisine and abundance of nature on its doorstep. In 2018 we relocated here with a simple goal in mind - to showcase the area's beautiful temples and gardens, unique food and hidden cultural gems in a fun and relaxed way while offering our guests a much richer appreciation of this amazing city and everything it offers.

Photo of Chris Hall, Founder of Kyoto Guided Walks, in Nara, Japan
Chris Hall - Founder

Why choose Kyoto Guided Walks?

Expert native English speaking guides

With a deep connection to both Kyoto and Japan spanning more than 25 years, we have a wealth of knowledge to share with guests about the city and its unique history, time-honoured customs and incredible variety of cuisine. Whether your interests lie in exploring Kyoto’s historical temples and gardens, discovering the local culture or diving head first into the food scene, we bring the area alive with expert commentary, fascinating local insights and captivating stories you won’t find in any guide books!
Authentic, handpicked local experiences 
As Kyotoites, we never stop exploring and have carefully curated our walking tours to offer an enchanting mix of the must see spots with some of Kyoto’s quietest areas. There is nothing quite like having an ancient temple to yourself deep in nature or enjoying green tea in the surrounds of a beautiful zen garden well off the tourist trail. We also like to introduce guests to the artisans and restaurant owners who we have forged personal relationships with to give a genuine insider experience.
Private touring, customised to suit
Having the exclusive use of a private guide while in Kyoto means you can enjoy the city at your own pace and get the most out of your time here. Leave it to us to craft a customised tour for you or choose from our extensive range of guided walks. We also offer the option to move between the sites by taxi for those with a shorter time frame or mobility issues.
Food, glorious food
Assisted by my wife Kako who is also a chef, we have an intimate knowledge of the city’s food scene. From tasty street food to high end Kyoryori (traditional Kyoto cuisine), our walking tours offer something for everyone! We also cater to vegetarian and vegan guests and due to Kyoto’s strong Buddhist heritage, there are some excellent options on offer.
Many, many happy guests
Even though we are a relatively new company, we have already enjoyed guiding hundreds of clients ranging from solo travellers to large family groups through Kyoto and received dozens of 5 star reviews in the process. We encourage you to read our latest Trip Advisor reviews below or head to our testimonials page and look forward to helping you discover a truly unique side to Japan’s cultural and historical capital.